Learning about Internet Safety out of the classroom

Date Posted: 24/06/2015

The Milton Keynes Safety Centre, also known as ‘Hazard Alley’ is a purpose-built interactive centre designed for students to experience a variety of scenarios in which they are encouraged to develop safe strategies to deal with potential emergencies.

14 hazardous scenarios have been specially created at the Milton Keynes Safety Centre, giving pupils from the age of six upwards the opportunity to develop strategies to deal with potential emergencies and keep themselves and others around them safe.

The centre takes in approximately 500 school visits each year and continually adapts its educational offering to cater for the changing demands in society. The latest addition is an Internet Safety session for Year 5 and 6 pupils which involves watching an internet safety chatroom DVD to highlight the potential dangers of using social networking sites. The Safety Centre also offers a follow-up lesson to this session, which is designed to encourage children to take responsibility when using the internet.

As well as the Internet Safety session, Hazard Alley also offers the following, which are taught through a range of role play activities, videos and guided discussions:

•    Fire Safety
•    Home Safety
•    Building Site
•    Road Safety
•    Railway Safety
•    Car Safety
•    Personal Safety
•    Water Safety
•    First Aid and the Recovery Position
•    Farm Safety
•    Crime and Consequences
•    Vandalism and Consequences
•    Drug Awareness

The role play activities, such as 999 calls and house fire evacuations are some of the most popular and memorable activities at the centre according to director Jan Alder. “It is difficult to say what the most popular activity is with students as we get hundreds of letters from the children and they all pick a different scenario which they enjoyed. The 999 calls, however are always remembered, as is the Fire Safety scenario where smoke appears in the room and the children have to evacuate.”

Explaining the main benefits of a visit to the centre and why it has proven such a success over its 20 year history, Alder added: “It’s a unique learning experience which makes learning about safety fun and therefore memorable. The interactive ‘real life’ safety messages can’t be replicated in the classroom and because the experience is so engaging and fun, the children don’t even realise they are learning vital messages.”

A visit to the Safety Centre can form part of a school’s PSHE education programme and also covers part of the English, Maths, Geography and Science National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2. 

The centre’s website provides teachers pre and post visit information as well as downloadable lesson plans. Each child also receives a 28-page workbook to complete, which contains activities related to each scenario.

For more information visit www.safetycentre.co.uk.

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